Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Review by Ian King
Issue 344 – July / August 2016
Klaus Wunderlich FOUR Double CDs – Price £8.95 per set.
Leading on from the recent release of new rehearsal material from the late Klaus Wunderlich with his “Absolutely Wunderlich” double CD, we are now offering four of the recent double CD sets for £8.95 each.
The Bell Musik label released twenty-five single and double CD sets between 1999 and 2012, but then went out of business and recently sold all their remaining stock. We have managed to get our hands on some extra copies of four the later double CDs. Around two-thirds of the Bell releases are now deleted, so this is a good time to add these four to your collection before they become extinct too. The titles are “Maestro” from 2012, “Signature” from 2010, “Musical” from 2006 and “Recollections” from 2004.
As I didn’t start writing for this esteemed publication until early 2011, “Maestro” was the only one I have reviewed previously. This was Bell Musik’s final Klaus release from February 2012. The double CD contains just under two hours of material from his “Hammond Pops” and “Hits Again” series of LPs released between 1967 and 1974. A total of thirty tracks are included, with two medleys from each of volumes 1-10 of “Hammond Pops” and two medleys from each of volumes 1-5 of “Hits Again”. All but the final two tracks are played on Hammond, the two exceptions being “Hammond Pops 5” when Klaus started to use a Lowrey H-25-3 and a Wersi W.248-S.
“Signature” contains 2 hours 6 minutes cataloging fifty of his finest compositions. Many of Klaus’ originals were ‘slipped in’ to his recordings here and there, but this is the first time they have been showcased together. They show was a talented composer he was with catchy tunes, complex arrangements and all made for the multi-tracked organ sound.
“Musical” is an album of two halves; the first disc contains his complete fourteen-track Teldec LP of the same name from 1985. This was an LP of ‘showstoppers’ from the world of musicals. The second contains one of Klaus’ most popular albums, the complete fourteen-track “The Winner Takes It All” (Tribute to ABBA) CD from 1994. This one was released on the Connoisseur Collection label on which Klaus released five CDs from 1990-1995, all of which are now deleted. The tracks are played on Wersi Beta, Helios & Spectra and have a running time of 1 hour 34 minutes. All the tracks were digitally remastered by engineer and life-long friend of Klaus, Werner Kohlhammer who has given both albums a sharper sound with an enhanced stereo mix, even on the ABBA disc which was originally a CD release.
“Recollections” contains 2 hours 14 minutes and forty tracks of early Hammond recordings. Alan Ashton worked with Werner to find rare material and so the CDs include many 45rpm EP releases on the Telefunken label which were never released in the UK. This set was released in 2004 to mark the 70th anniversary of Hammond organs.
As I said, these four sets won’t be around forever and they offer a lovely cross-section of Klaus’ work from his early Hammond recordings to his ABBA and Musical recordings as well as his self-penned material.
Latest Klaus Wunderlich Releases
His first stereo recording from the late 1950's - Playing Hammond C3 with a rhythm section.
1988 release on the TELDEC label.
Playing Wersi Spectra (and Beta). His final recording from 1997.
1986 release on the Wersi Beta (on the TELDEC Label).
Recordings from 1959 & 1960 on Hammond C3, plus bonus tracks from 1975/76 played on Wersi & Lowrey.
New documentary telling his story. Danish Import DVD.
Material from his "Hammond Pops" & "Hits Again" LPs released between 1967 and 1974.
Review by Ian King from Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine.